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H O U S E   O F   C O M M O N S

APPGITA - All Party Parliamentary Group for
Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction

House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Correspondence between APPGITA and Anne Milton MP, Public
Health Minister regarding the Roundtable Meetings,
May 16/17, 2012

Email from Mick Behan, APPGITA Researcher, to Anne Milton MP, May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012

Dear Anne,

Thank you for your email concerning the APPGITA circulation list. Jim Dobbin MP, chair of the APPGITA has asked me to provide you with the following response:

Due to the exclusion of APPGITA from the Roundtable and the excessive secrecy constructed by the Department of Health around that group we believe members have not had the opportunity to consider an alternative viewpoint to that presented by the Department. For that reason we circulated Professor Ashton's important comments on the consensus statement. The feedback we have have had so far from that circulation has been 100% positive and supportive. We believe it is important that Roundtable members continue to receive alternative information on involuntary tranquilliser addiction and APPGITA therefore intends to continue to use this circulation list. Any Roundtable members who do not want to receive APPGITA information should notify me and they will be immediately removed from the circulation list.

Best wishes

Michael Behan
Researcher for Jim Dobbin MP
Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction

Email from Anne Milton MP to Mick Behan, APPGITA, May 16, 2012
(ccd by Anne Milton to all interested parties including benzo.org.uk)

May 16, 2012

Dear Mike

Thank you for sight of Professor Ashton’s comments on the draft consensus statement.

However, I understand that some members of the roundtable have expressed concern and distress that information, including private email addresses of service users have been made available to individuals outside of the roundtable.

I am sure that you realise the sensitivities of using personal details and so I would be most grateful if you could refrain from using the private distribution list of the roundtable in any future correspondence. Please let me know if I can help further on this issue. I am sure I needn't reiterate what concern this has caused.

Thank you for your help with this.

Best Wishes

Anne Milton

Private Office of Anne Milton MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health Department of Health
020 7 210 5115

Please respond to publichealth.minister@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Note: On July 27, 2011 Anne Milton MP, Public Health Minister said on BBC Radio 4's Face the Facts:

"I've met people who've been addicted to benzodiazepines for 20 or 30 years - wrecked their lives, wrecked their jobs, wrecked their families. It's a silent addiction. We all know about illegal drugs, we all know about alcohol, we don't know about this group... I think there has been some denial of the problem and I think that when you're talking about drugs that are legally, albeit unwisely, prescribed causing a problem - you know it's never really fitted anywhere, nobody wanted to grab hold of it - certainly not in denial now. We are going to get a grip of this and it needs to be dealt with on a number of different fronts, there's no doubt about that... I'm taking this very seriously. It's an issue that's fallen through the cracks. We want to make sure that training and awareness is raised so that GPs know how to prescribe well and then we need to make sure that we've got the right services in place to give them the help and support they need to get off these drugs and get back and enjoy lives as they should be able to."

For more articles, newsletters and information please see the main APPGITA page.


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